Seven witnesses murdered, four others targeted
Investigators probing link with senior cops
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
A Corporate Area businessman, who operates a multimillion-dollar construction company, has been taken into custody by investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA), following a probe into allegations of money laundering, murders and other major crimes.
The businessman, whose name is being withheld, could soon face numerous charges and some senior members of the police force could be charged alongside him.
The Sunday Gleaner has confirmed that senior members of the force are under investigation following allegations that some persons who had made reports against the businessman in the past were murdered shortly after going to the cops.
Last week, our news team received information from west Kingston, where the businessman is based, that at least seven persons who have gone to the police with information on his illegal activities have been killed in the past two years.
According to police sources, last Tuesday the names of four more witnesses were found on paper hidden in vegetables in a freezer, at one of the upper St Andrew houses of the businessman.
Preliminary investigations, by MOCA have suggested that the 43-year-old businessman is associated with a criminal enterprise which is under the microscope of United States law enforcement agencies.
"We are interested in finding out how some of his business projects were funded, because currently we have not found traces of funding from any financial institutions," said Superintendent Cleon March, head of investigations, at MOCA.
March supported the allegations that persons with information on the businessman have been murdered.
"Because of these (seven) murders, some persons have expressed fear to come forward and give statements," said March, who is leading the investigation.
It is alleged that the businessman has close ties to some members of the police force who have been supplying him with information.
one step ahead
It is believed that these leaks from inside the force have enabled the businessman to remain one step ahead of the investigators.
But that ended last Tuesday when he was arrested by MOCA investigators at a house in the Constant Spring area of St Andrew.
Up to late Friday, he was still being interrogated by senior investigators.
When asked to respond to the allegations that some senior cops are on the payroll of the businessman, head of MOCA, Assistant Commissioner Karl Williams, would neither confirm nor deny.
"We are unable to make any comment about the involvement of police personnel at this time," Williams, told The Sunday Gleaner.
According to Williams, the businessman is to appear in court shortly to answer charges of murder and shooting with intent.
Williams said based on the allegations against the businessman, the police will be urging the courts to deny him bail.
According to Williams, MOCA has the full support of the high command of the police force to aggressively pursue its investigations against the businessman with the ultimate objective of dismantling the criminal enterprise with which he is associated.
Last year, Williams declared that several persons fitting the profile of "entrenched crime bosses" and who have amassed millions of dollars in wealth through their criminal lifestyle, were on a priority list of targets for MOCA.
Williams had disclosed that the recently formed elite anti-crime unit would be going after the 25 or 30 "major crime bosses".
MOCA is a multi-agency task force which was launched last June, to target crime bosses and those persons who facilitate them.